By David J. Cieslak

The Arizona Republic


Bracing for as many as 3,000 animals a month coming into its shelters this summer, the Arizona Humane Society is asking for the public's assistance to provide short-term foster homes for newborn puppies and kittens.

The Valley-based organization, which is currently taking in more than 100 animals every day, is running out of space for the massive amount of critters living in its two Phoenix shelter, Humane Society spokeswoman Kim Noetzel said.

When the typical mating season arrives between May and September, the problem worsens for the Humane Society and other shelters around Arizona .

The agencies run into a quandary because state law mandates that dogs and cats be spayed or neutered before a shelter can adopt them to a new family. However, puppies and kittens cannot safely undergo the surgery until they are 8 weeks old or 2 pounds.

“We desperately need help caring for all these animals so we can eventually place them up for adoption” said Noetzel, who herself is spending the next two weeks caring for three kittens in her office. Foster families working with the Humane Society incur no expenses and work under the direction of agency veterinarians, Noetzel said. Families usually spend between a few days to a few weeks caring for the dogs and cats. No one is expected to care for more animals than they can handle, she said.

Prospective foster families can call 602-997-7585, Ext.1040 or Ext. 2040, seven days a week during business hours.

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